New to recruitment: 5 things you need to know


Too many new and hungry recruitment consultants plan on hitting the ground running when they enter the profession, only to end up falling over their own feet when they become entangled in the common mistakes made by novices. Passion, determination and commitment are not enough to succeed in this intensive field; a concerted plan of action is just as vital. Follow these essential tips if you’re new to recruitment, and not only will they ease your entry into this world, but from that sure start you can expect a steady and fulfilling career.

Know how the recruitment industry works

1.  An agency acts as the intermediary between an organisation – the client or ‘employer’ – wanting a vacancy filled and the most suitable individual – the candidate or ‘contractor’- seeking employment. But it’s not as straightforward as that. An agency’s reputation is built on supplying ideal candidates for specific posts, and that involves a time-intensive recruiting management cycle that begins with sourcing the best person for the job, liaising with the client, through to securing the recruit while ensuring both parties are satisfied. Responsibility and results are key to your job.


Don’t fear your lack of experience

2. Nerves from what you don’t know at the beginning can hold you back. It can be scary to contact potential clients in the early days when you feel that you’re winging it, however, developing relationships with contacts is one of the bedrocks of recruitment work, so don’t hold back. Hone your skills and develop your confidence in your first weeks by jumping right in and calling smaller clients. The connections you make will give you a starter level of success on which to build.


Begin close to home

3.  It is not unknown for novice recruiters to have been encouraged to enter the profession by friends who were already recruiters and recognised aptitude when they saw it. Likewise, many recruiters trawl their own friends and contacts for initial potential candidates. Don’t stop there. Encourage those in your network to connect you with high performers in your field whom they know. Use social media to highlight your new post and promote your interest in suitable candidates.


Develop a talent pool database

4. Add to your initial list by keeping your antennae up for the top talent. Read the industry press to keep abreast of names making waves; make contacts via conferences and professional associations; access CV databases and online networking sites such as LinkedIn; be aware of future potential that might be encouraged.  Do be mindful of the Data Protection Act: let people know if you plan to retain their contact details. And do remember that this database is not an end in itself but an active resource of valuable potential candidates.


Learn to listen and note

5.  Excellent communication with both clients and candidates is vital. The more certain you are of what each party is looking for and the motivation behind their search, the better match you’ll make. Face-to-face meetings trump email and phone contact for nuance and help cement business relationships. Ask strong questions and listen well. Don’t attempt to remember details of your conversations but rather log them instead to build up applicant profiles. And always return emails and phone calls from clients and candidates. These good manners alone will make you stand out.

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